Honor Flight #42: Meet “Uncle Ray”

Honor Flight #42: Meet “Uncle Ray”
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 12:20 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Wednesday morning, 83 Northeastern Indiana Veterans took off towards Washington D.C. from the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne for the 42nd Honor Flight.

21Alive’s Jessica Walter was live Wednesday morning from the air base and got to interview a few special guests before the flight took off. On this flight was “Uncle Ray,” or Ray Walter, a Vietnam veteran who’s waited years for the special call that he’d be going on an Honor Flight. He’s accompanied by his daughter, Claire Walter-Sims.

Uncle Ray is known to most as just that: Uncle Ray. He’s been a member at the American Legion Post #241 for 50 years.

His guardian, Claire, says they’ve waited about 6 or 7 years on the waitlist for Honor Flight. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, a wedding, and life in general, they weren’t sure when they‘d finally be able to go. At 81 years old, Uncle Ray says he’s simply thrilled.

The veterans all have something in common, which is the pride and humility that comes along with taking part in an Honor Flight.

Honor Flight veterans and their guardians will be welcomed back Wednesday evening with the first in-person welcome celebration at the Fort Wayne Airport since the pandemic began.